California’s First New HSR Station Opens in Anaheim

Dec 9th, 2014 | Posted by

On Saturday the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center – ARTIC – opened to the public. It will eventually serve as a high speed rail and streetcar station, but for now it serves as Anaheim’s Amtrak and Metrolink station, along with serving connecting OCTA buses.


Photo by @CaHSRA on Twitter

The Orange County Register was there and interviewed a few of the first users of the new ARTIC station:

Keith Shular, who traveled to Anaheim to visit Disneyland with his family from Penticton, British Columbia, was upset there was no place to buy food while everyone waited for a train to San Diego.

“If you’re going to open this station, you should have the restaurant ready, or at least a vending machine,” Shular said as he waited with family members on the station’s open-air bridge.

The first food establishment to open in the station, Mission Market Express, was still working on getting things up and running Saturday morning, though the store’s manager said the market would be open later on Saturday. Luckily, the family brought a few snacks.

But Valerie Ashton, another family member, was more impressed by the station’s design.

“It‘s beautiful, the architecture is amazing,” Ashton said. “I think it’s prettier than Crystal Cathedral.”

Well, speaking personally, prettier than Crystal Cathedral is not exactly difficult – I’ve never been a fan of that building – but it’s good that a traveler thinks ARTIC looks great.

I will confess that I’m a shameless partisan of mission-style architecture – I love LA Union Station as well as a personal favorite of mine, Santa Ana station – and I’m not wild about Calatrava-style modernist stations. But I’ve liked the look of ARTIC ever since I saw the first drawings.

I’ll bet that other person quoted was just hungry and frustrated. Which I totally understand – I’d be pissed too if I got to a new station and they didn’t really have good food options ready. Apparently new restaurants will be opening at ARTIC in the months to come.

Have any readers had a chance to visit ARTIC since it opened, and want to share their experiences and thoughts in the comments? I’ll be in Orange County in two weeks and plan to drop by to see it for myself.

  1. Richard Mlynarik
    Dec 9th, 2014 at 09:22
    #1

    It’s mis-located, it’s pure form (which is nice) over any kind of function (which isn’t), the costs were outrageous, it’s completely mis-configured for serving trains, and it doesn’t and can’t work as a passenger transportation facility.

    America’s Finest Transportation Professionals, on the job!

    And America’s Finest Full Time Unreflecting Unanalytical Cheerleader backing them up in full.

    Everything is going great!

    Trailermonkey Reply:

    How so?
    The station is located right next to three major tourist attractions in Anaheim (Disneyland, Honda Center, and Angle Stadium), it’s located between two of the largest parking lots in Anaheim with direct connection to the station (they already use the A’s parking lot for the existing station) and it is located a block away from a freeway entrance to State Route 57 and about a mile from Interstate 5.
    The station is also located strategically for train travel. The station is located only a mile west of one of the big junctions in the LA basin where trains coming up from San Diego can either turn West towards LA Union Station, or continue Northeast towards Riverside. The station currently sees 54 trains a day from the Surfliner and Metrolink, not including the planned high speed rail, street car, and maglev systems that are planning on stopping at ARTIC.
    ARTIC is also served by OCTA (Orange County Transportation Agency), airport shuttles, local tourist shuttles running between the station and the local attractions (Disneyland, Anaheim Convention Center, Knott’s Berry Farm, Ect…), ARTIC also rents bikes for use in town, or use on the Santa Ana River bike trail that runs along one side of the station.
    The form of the station is more than needed for the required functions that the station serves, but very tastefully done, and the design does not negatively impact the purpose of the station, while making it very open and inviting to wander through.
    The cost for building the station was high, but the cost was in-line with other large buildings in the area, and the station is LEED Platinum certified (the highest possible). The cost was supposed to be offset by a 84ft tall billboard facing the freeway, which the city has decided to postpone.
    The layout of the station is exactly right for serving any type of transportation. You walk in the front door, buy your ticket, head straight up the steps, and out onto the walkway to your track. There is a clear and consistent flow of movement through the station with the main movement being in a straight line (unlike LA Union Station which has multiple jogs that you have to take, and backtrack to the ticket agents desk).
    Its hard to say it doesn’t work as a transportation facility on the fourth day the station is in operation. If it still has problems a year from now, then I would agree it doesn’t work. Right now there is still construction going on on-site which messes up traffic flow, not to mention commuters still getting used to the new station and bus connections.
    Overall, the station was very well placed and laid out. It will be interesting to see what the ridership numbers are once all the kinks get ironed out.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Have you ever visited any industrialised first world country and used a non-airport passenger transportation facility?

    LEED!

    Trailermonkey Reply:

    Yes, I have used most of the train stations on the West coast (some are laid out better than others), the Tube system in London (which is quite convoluted), and most of the BART stations. Every station/transportation hub has its own strengths and weaknesses. The idea is that when a new one is built, the designers try to look at existing transportation hubs and try to incorporate their strengths, while trying to eliminate their weaknesses. I never said, or meant to imply, that ARTIC has no flaws, just that hopefully the flaws will be rather small and most people won’t notice them.

    Joey Reply:

    One of the main issues is that the iconic structure does little to improve the function of the station, i.e. getting people onto and off of trains. It’s a building that some people might pass through briefly if they are being picked up/dropped off.

    Observer Reply:

    I have flown in to Europe a couple of times now, but from there on – after the airport it was all trains. More comfortable for me anyway.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I have used Stockholm Central. If terrorists want to destroy it in protest of anything, when it’s empty, I’m all for it. (When it’s not empty, it’s more crowded than Penn Station, and nobody deserves this.)

    EJ Reply:

    What’s wrong with LEED?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Squirrel!

    Question: Does this structure function?
    Non sequitur: LEED! (Or “TOD!” Or “Vibrant!” Or …)

    joe Reply:

    Hey, I know a joke! A transportation professional walks up to a train and says, “I forgot to design functional train station and now I am dead.” Ha! It is funny because the transportation professional gets dead.

    Emmanuel Reply:

    Can we talk about how the glass building is 300 ft away from the actual station? Instead of making a glass cupola covering the actual station so that people can sit close to where the train is coming, they make them stand outside in the hot sun or the rain. Or you could walk all the way back to the glass thingy, but then risk missing your train as you panic trying to find family members before crossing the bridge and then figuring out if the train goes in the right direction. Oh the fun that will be had.

    Something likes this:
    http://randomwire.com/wp-content/uploads/wuhan-high-speed-train-station.png
    would have been cheaper, yet still contemporary, beautiful and most of all; USEFUL.

    I cannot express how upset I am with what OCTA has done here. WHY can we not have this??? What is so difficult to get something useful done?? It’s absolutely useless unless they somehow were thinking ahead and maybe they plan to build an actual station in the future.

    Emmanuel Reply:

    Okay, admittedly, it does not have to be on this scale since it cost $2 billion but I am trying to illustrate how much more useful this station looks like, just by the looks alone.

    Here’s a photo of the main train station in Shanghai:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4jqg7Wg3JjU/T3wNxwmRKQI/AAAAAAAAFAs/LcdUHeUtxBY/s1600/image19.jpg

    This is what the Transbay Terminal would look like if we had people with brains and experience working on it. Yet somehow it is China that is more corrupt than the US. Go figure…

    IKB Reply:

    Nice station, but it’s in Beijing

    Joey Reply:

    Right – they could have put a fancy glass dome over the tracks and then it at least would have added to the experience for riders.

    agb5 Reply:

    You would not want to operate a diesel train inside a glass dome.
    They can add a dome later when all is electrified, maybe in the year 2035.

    francis Reply:

    Nearly all of the time in Anaheim it’s nicer to be outside than indoors.

  2. William
    Dec 9th, 2014 at 10:42
    #2

    I think a convenience store, say a 7-11, and a fast-food restaurant, are the minimal retail each HSR station should have.

    Observer Reply:

    Agreed. But I think HSR stations in California will end up being developed by public private partnerships which will need and demand much more diverse amenities. I also think development of HSR stations in California will be a multiyear and multi phase effort.

    Joey Reply:

    a convenience store

    Well hopefully there will be something convenient because it’s not the location of the station itself.

    joe Reply:

    Unless one wants to visit disneyland. Better to put it in old Anaheim and have starbucks and GAP.

    Joey Reply:

    Disneyland is on the opposite side of the Freeway. So is the old station.

  3. J. Wong
    Dec 9th, 2014 at 11:42
    #3

    It’s so pretty there, lit up at night, off by its lonesome across the freeway from the Angels Stadium parking lot, where the old Amtrak/Metrolink station is.

  4. Keith Saggers
    Dec 9th, 2014 at 12:08
    #4

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/infrastructure/single-view/view/from-china-to-spain-by-rail.html

    Jerry Reply:

    The Orient Freight Express.

  5. Observer
    Dec 9th, 2014 at 12:27
    #5

    The only thing that I know about Anaheim is going to Disneyland (dreadful experience getting there too). Does Anaheim even have a Downtown? Is anything even centrally located in Anaheim? The perception (or misperception perhaps) that I have of Anaheim is that it is an amalgamation of modern development and sprawl. I suspect that they located the ARTIC station where they did because they simply had to make due. Among HSR supporters, downtown stations would be the hands on favorite to locate any HSR station. So for anybody who unlike me is familiar with Anaheim, where should a HSR station be centrally or conveniently located there?

    J. Wong Reply:

    They could have tried, really tried, to get buy in from the Angels and put the station in the parking lot, which would be more convenient.

    But you’re right: Anaheim doesn’t really have a downtown (unless you count Downtown Disney!) It is pretty sprawly, and the train tracks are nowhere near where anyone wants to go except for Angels Stadium and the Grove of Anaheim.

    Joey Reply:

    There is a “downtown” Anaheim which is nowhere near the station or Disneyland. It’s vaguely in the vicinity of Lincoln Ave and Anaheim BLVD.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Anaheim does have an older urban grid, along the tracks, about where the original settlement was located – the “Anaheim Colony Historic District”. It’s not exactly a dense downtown, however. The major passenger destinations in Anaheim are in the general area of ARTIC – the stadium/arena and, of course, Disneyland.

    The challenge comes in figuring out where on the tracks exactly you put a new station. One could make an argument for putting it at Lewis Rd and Cerritos Rd – that’s basically just on the other side of I-5 from Disneyland. There’s an electric power right of way that goes straight to Disney Way and Disneyland from there, and one could run a short streetcar along it from a rail station right to Disneyland.

    But that would require a bridge or tunnel to cross I-5, and the power towers are an obstacle. It’s also further away from Anaheim Stadium and Honda Center.

    So then the two options are: use the parking lot at Anaheim Stadium, or build across the street from Honda Center and across the 57 freeway from the Big A. They chose the latter option.

    One reason that happened was the city of Anaheim has long wanted to develop the Anaheim Stadium parking lot, going back to at least the 1990s. That’s actually the basis of a current dispute between the city and the Angels’ owner, Arte Moreno – not whether it happens, but who makes the most money from it. Those plans do include the whole parking lot, including the part adjacent to the tracks, so that left the site that became ARTIC as the best option.

    Anaheim plans to run a streetcar from ARTIC to Disneyland, stopping at the convention center as well, and tying that whole region of Anaheim together while solving the issue of ARTIC being in a kind of weird location, hemmed in between the Santa Ana River and the 57 freeway.

    Assuming that streetcar comes together as intended, and assuming that the development on the Anaheim Stadium parking lot is dense and tallish, then I think the decision to build ARTIC where they did would be fine.

    Observer Reply:

    As always, thank you for the insight. I checked google maps. So Arctic is located right in between the Honda Center and Angels Stadium with Disneyland a short distance away. It seems that eventual development of the Angels Stadium parking lot and a streetcar to D/L would help tie things together. It will be a multiphase and multiyear effort, and not limited to the HSR station itself.

    If I were crossing an ocean or a continent, I would fly (not that I like it). But within a state like California, HSR makes absolute sense. It would make going into and out of Anaheim much easier and convenient if you are traveling within state; something driving the freeway or flying within California could never match.

    joe Reply:

    The station makes a within CA weekend trip to/from Anaheim feasible for an average family or individual. You rest on the train, no need to drive and fight traffic.

    Observer Reply:

    Being able to ride HSR into California’s major cities conveniently, safely, and rested would be a dream come true for me. This is something I currently can not do. HSR would allow myself and millions of other people including tourists the ability to do so. This is my pure and simple wish; we will be the better and more successful for it.

    J. Wong Reply:

    There’s currently no connection between ARCTIC and Disneyland and it’s 4 miles walking.

    joe Reply:

    There’s no HSR connection or station in Gilory either.

    For current riders I suggest serivces such as Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) – free shuttle.
    http://www.metrolinktrains.com/news/promotions_detail/title/cars_land

    The station’s in the right spot. It’s just going to take time for the HSR system to reach it and i expect landuse will change.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The challenge with ARTIC’s location for HSR is that it was first selected based on the SCAG Maglev study that is now gathering dust but at the time proposed a high speed train that would run from Disneyland to Las Vegas via the Cajon Pass.

    As I seem to recall, the City of Orange started passing all these ordinances to restrict any sort of upgrades to tracks within it’s boundaries. The City of Orange is across the Santa Ana River from ARTIC and controls the ROW over which a train heading south or east of Anaheim has to use. But then not to be outdone, Anaheim came up with this huge master planned development called A-Town near ARTIC that had to be shelved when Jerry Brown dissolved municipal redevelopment agencies in 2011.

    I still maintain, however, that the new plan for ARTIC is to use as a hub for the Pacific Surfliner which is “under new management” by OCTA. I think the desire is to have a station that can act in the same way that Union Station does for Metrolink. Although there’s no explicit reason to think that OCTA is pulling out of Metrolink, given that ridership is increasing Orange County and it’s not in LA…it’s not that hard to connect the dots.

    The only wrinkle to this approach is that the neighborhood around ARTIC isn’t a major job center precisely because it’s hemmed by the Stadium and to a lesser extent the Disney Resort. My guess is that the “solution” to this problem will be to ressurect the CenterLine Project…which is worth a whole other thread on its own.

    ComradeFrana Reply:

    So if I understand you correctly, they moved the station away (and behind a freeway) because of TOD?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Yep.

    there is a complicating factor with trying to figure out anaheim transit.

    A huge percentage of Disneyland’s visitors are local – much more so than Disneyworld. I’ve seen a number that said 75% live within 150 miles, with a huge hunk of those people even closer. Disney sells a Southern California Annual Pass that looks like a better and better deal as daily attendance (for kids 10 and up) price approaches $100.

    These people love disney but are probably not great for disney’s bottom line.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-disneyland-entry-prices-rise-again-20140518-story.html
    http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1541&context=thesesdissertations

    It does seem like a free shuttle bus and frequent metrolink service would work, since all the parking lots now require shuttle buses… not sure why this hasn’t come to pass

    Ted Judah Reply:

    There’s a couple of reasons, Liz for the seeming seeming incongruity:

    1)Parking revenue is important to the bottom line. Take 25% of your visitors out of the garages an onto buses and you have a pretty big budget hole.

    2) Trips on transit are not competitive based on time. If you can blow over $500 a year on an annual pass, you can afford to travel by car and a lot more neighborhoods are an hour away by car in Southern California than by transit.

    3) So far I have yet to hear anyone say Curt Pringle’s name once….

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Disneyland will have to decide whether revenues from parking are more valuable than developing those lots. In the ’90s they built California Adventure on top of the original Disneyland lots, and moved most of the parking a few blocks further out. So clearly they understand that there may be better revenue streams than parking.

    Their SoCal annual pass includes pretty much anyone living between SLO/Bakersfield and the Mexican border. While it’s pretty easy for families in Orange County to drive to Disneyland (we often did when I was a kid), driving to Disneyland from SD or San Bernardino or Ventura Counties, or even the San Fernando Valley, is a chore. So Disneyland could instead use the Anaheim streetcar to carry more Southern Californians to and from the park via Metrolink and the Surfliners (and eventually high speed rail) and then develop more of the parking lots. Hell, they could essentially outsource their parking to the state by using lots at rail stations.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    I think we are kinda saying the same thing. My point is that the station- including location, access and transfers – should probably have been optimized around local/ regional transportation. THink strollers.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Maybe they already have outsourced it?

    TOLLS WEST – PARKIN ANAHEIM CA 17.00
    </blockquote

    The charge for the Toy Story parking lot from my credit card statement.

    Jerry Reply:

    But, but, it’s closer to the bike trail.

  6. Howard
    Dec 9th, 2014 at 18:47
    #6

    How well does the ARTIC meet the California High Speed Rail station design recommendations?
    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2014/11/fta-planner-blended-station-designs-may-benefit-bay-area/

    MarkB Reply:

    Seems like much of that report should be in the “Duh!” category. Nevertheless, I’m glad the report is out and seems to be gaining traction. Maybe we’re in for a bracing dose of common sense in infrastructure design.

    One can hope.

  7. Purple City
    Dec 10th, 2014 at 07:38
    #7

    ARTIC is a bad design. “Wha?,” you say. Hear me out.

    Back in the day, Dallas built a grand Union Station. Not quite as nice as Fort Worth’s, but decent architecture regardless. Street level and track level were the same, so you walked up a flight of stairs into the ornate waiting room, out an overpass, and then back down to track level.

    Well, never underestimate a Texan’s ability to find a shortcut. More and more passengers began to skip the unnecessary stair climbs, and eventually, in the days when MoPac still ran the trains, the ticket office was moved to the basement. No stairs, just a straight trip through the building and across the tracks at grade, similar to Portland (OR) Union. This was further formalized when the station was remodeled for DART and TRE in the 90’s. At that time, the old waiting room was completely closed off to the public, and the sole access was routed through the former basement.

    ARTIC resurrects this superfluous up-then-down motion, with the added twist that the HSR design spec prohibits the sort of after-the-fact grade crossing which might make the station usable.

    To recap, there are three civilized ways to construct a significant through rail station.
    (i) Depress the tracks below grade. You enter the waiting room at street level, then descend one level to your train. Most great city terminals follow this model; Chicago Union, Philly 30th, New York Grand Central, New York Penn (RIP).
    (ii) Elevate the tracks above grade. You enter the waiting room at street level, then ascend one level to your train. Newark Penn, Chicago Ogilvie, and Los Angeles Union all hew to this design.
    (iii) Elevate the station entrance above the tracks. In the case of Seattle King, the entire street grid was elevated around the tracks. In Harrisburg, only the station entrance drive is elevated. Note also that this has been the standard design for air terminals since at least 1954, when Hobby opened.

    EJ Reply:

    The people who built the old Anaheim Amtrak station knew about (ii).

  8. JJJJ
    Dec 10th, 2014 at 07:42
    #8

    For four months of the year, travel on roads and rail is unreliable in the central valley. You know what doesnt stop? Trains.

    ——

    Low visibility forced air traffic controllers to declare a “ground stop” about 10:15 p.m. Monday, bringing all commercial airline movement to a standstill.

    “No taxiing, no landings, no takeoffs,” said airport spokeswoman Rhonda Jorn. Even with equipment to accommodate instrument landing for experienced pilots, “if visibility gets down to less than 600 feet, that’s when they call a ground stop.” Private pilots can still try their luck at taking off or landing, but do so at their own risk, Jorn said.

    A Volaris flight from Guadalajara that was supposed to arrive in Fresno just after 11 p.m. Monday was instead diverted to San Jose International, Jorn said, and its scheduled 1 a.m. return flight to Guadalajara was delayed until Tuesday afternoon. An Aeromexico flight from Guadalajara with a scheduled arrival time shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday was canceled because of weather and crew availability.

    On Tuesday morning, United Airlines flights from San Francisco and Denver were diverted to Los Angeles, and a flight from Los Angeles to Fresno was canceled, Jorn said.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/12/09/4278038_fog-creates-central-san-joaquin.html?sp=/99/217/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

    EJ Reply:

    That Central Valley tule fog isn’t any fun to drive through, either. Even if you don’t get into one of the infamous I-5 pileups.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Rail is susceptible to slowdowns in inclement weather as well:

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Challenges-on-Bay-Area-roads-a-windy-wet-drive-5949949.php

    “BART also reduced acceleration rates for all trains departing stations because of the rain. The change, imposed to keep train wheels from slipping, combined with an overall speed reduction to cause major delays systemwide.”

    EJ Reply:

    Cab signalled trains on a segregated right of way at least don’t slow down for fog or poor visibility. Of course a huge storm is a different matter, but note that BART is still getting there; just more slowly.

    EJ Reply:

    Whereas streetcars running in traffic? fugeddabout it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART computer controlled trains on a segregated right of way with good visibility still manage to run over people on the tracks, sometimes its own people.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, it’s broad gauge. So, so awful.

  9. Phantom Commuter
    Dec 10th, 2014 at 17:00
    #9

    Have none of you ever been to Anaheim ? The new station is nearly 3 miles from Disneyland. A pleasant 57 minute walk along busy 8 lane, 50 mph arterial streets and under a couple of freeways. Yes, there is a bus, but it runs about every 40 minutes. A taxi, or Uber, are a much better bet. The lack of knowledge explains why many here support building a high speed rail line through Palmdale and Gilroy !

    joe Reply:

    Thank you for tell me about taxis and Uber.
    Let me return the favor by pointing out there is a free and public bus – not a bus but buses.
    Also, that describing “nearly 3 miles” as a large distance is hyperbole. It’s not far. And if you have every been to DisneyWorld you’d know that’s a within park distance.

    Anaheim Resort Transit provides shuttle service from the train station directly to Disneyland® Resort.
    Another option is to take Orange County Transit (OCTA) Bus Route 50.

    We’ll use the station when the HSR system is built. They’ll improve connections between the station and those short 3 miles.

    Joey Reply:

    How frequent are those buses?

    Joey Reply:

    Never mind, found it. ART is every 20 minutes (approximately and without a schedule), and the 50 is every 25 minutes at peak but off peak more like 45 minutes or more.

    Jerry Reply:

    Detroit and Miami have downtown people movers. Even poor old Morgantown, West by God, Virginia. Why can’t rich old Anaheim have one?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Why can’t rich old Anaheim have one?

    Because they spent all their fucking money on a stupid glass and steel dome.

    $186 million spent on a streetcar would have paid for 5.5 miles — more than enough to get from the station to Disneyland.

    joe Reply:

    They’re building a street car too.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The more accurate answer is that they had to first establish a site for the new station before construcinf the streetcar. Also keep in mind that Anaheim and Santa Ana are both fighting over streetcar funding. Add in that Santa Ana is 80% Latino and Democratic, and Anaheim is 50% or more Latino but with an all white City Council controlled by Disney and the tensions are easier to understand.

    Joey Reply:

    There was already a station. You’re telling me that they needed a glass dome in order to build a streetcar?

    joe Reply:

    The premise is that building and establishing new infrastructure with greater capacity builds a stronger case for the street car system.

    EJ Reply:

    So this is $186 million worth of pissing on their territory?

    Joe Reply:

    The city is building transit infrastructure. Establishing a larger station with more capacity helps in their argument for a streetcar connecting that station to Disneyland and other destinations. Is it causal? Did they build the station to get a street car? No. They probably have a plan and this station is one component of that larger plan. They are executing a plan.

    Or Maybe it’s a Rorschach test.

    Joey Reply:

    I don’t buy that the capacity was increased in any meaningful way. It’s still two platform tracks connected to the station building by a single over/underpass.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    I think it can actually be argued that capacity was decreased. Previously, it was an open access platform.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Sort of. Local jurisdictions routinely fight over transportation dollars with rival projects. The scale of ARTIC is so that federal bureaucrats who don’t pay attention to anything in California see ARTIC and think “this obviously needs feeder transit” as opposed to “that’s nice, where did you say this is again?”

    As I pointed out in my other comment, Anaheim and its supporters wanted something that Santa Ana (as the principal rival) would NOT do or not be able to do. The second part of that was supposed to be high speed rail, but when that didn’t work out….behold…TransBay South!

    In all seriousness, I did some simple modeling at home and the location of the Orange County HSR station/multimodal center is probably more important for ridership and profitability than even Tejon/Palmdale or Pacheco/Altamont. Hence the seemingly unusual reason for Anaheim and SF and LA etc to keep building these grand station with no sign of HSR while Fresno and Bakersfield continue to debate proposals…

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    If Sacramento would do a better job of funding local transit, Anaheim AND Santa Ana could both get streetcars. And then Santa Ana could run a streetcar down First Street to Tustin, making me very very happy…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Are those streetcars mixed-traffic? If so, then they make transit worse and should not be funded under any circumstance.

    calwatch Reply:

    Unfortunately, these are mixed traffic, battery powered (!) streetcars. The Toonerville Trolley indeed. http://www.anaheimfixedguideway.com/assets/docs/library/ARC%20NOP.pdf

    EJ Reply:

    Are those streetcars mixed-traffic?

    Of course they are. I guess so cal needs the same experience as Portland to find out that mixed traffic streetcars aren’t really worth much.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I know I have been irritating you lately, Robert, so please don’t take what I am about to say personally:

    Sacramento cannot do anything, fundwise, to ensure that both Anaheim and Santa Ana get the same level of streetcar service.

    You are juxtaposing two very different problems as being the same thing. They are not.

    Proposition 13 has conditioned local jurisdictions in California (cities, counties, special districts..etc….) to blame Sacramento for not providing enough revenue to support its functions. Thus, the standard battle cry from Democrats up and down the State is to raise more and more revenue in the hopes of solving the problem. But yet, here we are with a big surplus again, and there’s still conflict.

    The reason that Santa Ana and Anaheim are competing has nothing to do with with how much money they get from Sacramento, Washington D.C. or Disney…etc… and it has everything to do with the autonomy granted cities in the California Constitution over land use decisions. So no matter what you appropriate, $1 or $1 trillion, California cities are programmed to fight each other if its clear who their opponent is.

    Another little nugget for readers is that ARTIC is along the Santa Ana River, which is effectively marks the Pale between the whiter and more affluent half of the county and the poorer and more ethnic half of the county. Like the Tower of London protecting its namesake City, ARTIC’s stands guard over whatever growth and development Anaheim can toss its way.

    calwatch Reply:

    Anaheim recently ratified districts, so it will be harder for Disney to control since elected officials can only be selected within their district (the mayor is still citywide). This could provide an interesting counterpoint since will the people in the west side of town care about a streetcar that doesn’t serve them?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If you read Voice of OC’s coverage, it’s basically Disney verus the 80% of city’s residents who are Latino and not really thrilled with their representation.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    That is what one would think… welcome to Disney-land, where Anaheim governing meets the California public transit planning world.

    First, it should be understood that the new station does not easily accomodate high speed rail, but it is a virtual bargain compared to a basic transit connection to Disneyland.

    The streetcar project is a strange creature that would cost $319 million for the 3 mile route. A dedicated busway would be $50 million, with lower operating costs.

    http://www.voiceofoc.org/oc_north/article_b5a201fa-fd8d-11e2-b3c7-0019bb2963f4.html
    http://www.voiceofoc.org/oc_north/article_b8c70826-b65c-11e2-ae40-0019bb2963f4.html

    M

    synonymouse Reply:

    Disney’s interventionism is notorious and could be bolstering the Tejon Ranch’s intransigeance. From what I hear they are particularly powerful in northern Fla.

    The battery idea is unnecessary but using a conduit and plow as in DC would be dumb as well. Catenary is not that massive – this is not the NEC. Maybe they will come to realize that after a time and dump the batteries.

    These articles do not mention using curb lanes so are they still planning on that. It would be a worthy experiment in the real world of traffic and could be applied elsewhere, say on Geary.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Disneyworld is in Central Florida. It’s the biggest destination in metro Orlando.

    synonymouse Reply:

    So Fla., unlike California, comes in more than northern and southern.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes there are places in the world that don’t work just like California does.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Rejoin, Geary, so predictable , so boring

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Tejon of course

    synonymouse Reply:

    An issue of great contention on the Geary Corridor has been the location of light rail tracks. Median or curbside. Anaheim with curbside light rail would be a revelatory experiment under California conditions.

    It is reported that Disney owns important property in the Sta. Clarita vicinity, a formidable stakeholder in the mountain crossing controversy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    wasn’t dead Chandlers using their Pelosi mind rays on union members who live under bridges?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What destination in Anaheim would generate more passengers than putting the streetcar right at Disney’s main gate?

    Phantom Commuter Reply:

    It’s too bad Uncle Walt didn’t build the park on the other side of the freeway. The problem would have been solved.

  10. jimsf
    Dec 10th, 2014 at 20:24
    #10

    They probably put it there because its near the tracks, near the freeway, has parking, and a big empty lot.

    I gues they could have put it somewhere with no parking, no freeway access, far away from any railraod tracks, and torn down existing buildings and tried to figure out how to make the trains fly through the air and land in the “better” location.

    do you people do anything but bitch about everything?

    That said, This station is ugly and overblown regardless of location. What do people have against basic glass rectangles.

    Joey Reply:

    I really think they should’ve just left the station where it was, on the other side of the freeway. Put a canopy over the tracks with enough room for two more platform faces when HSR arrives. Add a couple more pedestrian underpasses. What they did was move the platforms farther from the destinations and build a glass dome which has little to do with the station itself.

    jimsf Reply:

    They could have done that and then if they wanted a signature they could have built something useful like a signature office or condo tower next to it with retail.

    calwatch Reply:

    Eventually Anaheim wants to do something with the “Platinum Triangle” similar to what Orange did with The City (aka the area around what is now The Outlets at Orange). Instead there are a bunch of wood framed low-rise apartments. Long term, though, they think this could be a catalyst to South Coast Metro-style development.

  11. datacruncher
    Dec 11th, 2014 at 07:31
    #11

    Bakersfield’s lawsuit to stop bullet train could be resolved
    Talks between the California Attorney General’s office and city officials could resolve Bakersfield’s nearly six-month-old lawsuit to stop the bullet train, the city attorney said Wednesday.

    During council comments at Wednesday’s City Council meeting — members’ final remarks at what was supposed to be the council’s last gathering of 2014 — newly appointed Vice Mayor Harold Hanson asked City Attorney Ginny Gennaro to look into holding a special closed-session meeting to talk settlement before Dec. 31.

    “We need to take some action prior to the end of the year,” Hanson said from the dais.

    “We heard from the Attorney General’s office — ‘You need to get it taken care of,'” Hanson added afterward.

    City Manager Alan Tandy said after the meeting he couldn’t comment because the issue is under litigation.

    Gennaro declined to discuss details of any potential settlement, but confirmed the two sides have been in contact.

    “I don’t feel comfortable discussing with you the potential terms of the settlement,” she said. “What I do feel comfortable telling you is the Attorney General’s office and the city have been actively engaged in some negotiations which may lead to the potential settlement of our CEQA case which is on file.”
    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1524580557/Bakersfields-lawsuit-to-stop-bullet-train-could-be-resolved

    Observer Reply:

    Some progress. Good.

    joe Reply:

    With City Manager Alan Tandy, all bets are off.

    I can see it going to the wire with something like this from the State: “If you walk away then our final offer will be nothing. Not even a payment to study the station location waiver, which CAHSRA would appreciate if you would put up personally. “

    Alan Reply:

    “I don’t feel comfortable discussing with you the potential terms of the settlement,” she said.

    In other words, “We’re still trying to figure out how to spin this to make it look like we won something, after our lawyer told us we don’t stand a chance in court.”

    joe Reply:

    Chowchilla is the model: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/28/3151224/chowchilla-high-speed-rail-settle.html

    My guess:
    1) CAHSRA will agree to consider Bakersfield’s concerns about route options in and around the city.
    If Bakersfield provides specific route/station guidance the CAHSRA will study the route option.

    2) The CAHSRA will cover up to $XXX.XXX of the city’s legal fees associated with the lawsuit once the planning for the route around the area is done. CAHSRA will fund $XXX,XXX to help Bakersfield study and plan for the route and station.

    2) If the rail agency adopts an alignment that Bakersfield proposes and the city sues again, Bakersfield would receive no settlement from the state.

  12. synonymouse
    Dec 11th, 2014 at 14:18
    #12

    ” …we don’t stand a chance in court.”

    You can’t fight City Hall.

    Except it seems the country is moving toward the center and the judges might be at least somewhat emboldened towards a little independence from the patronage machine.

    But to change the subject a bit what is the book, the odds currently on Jerry’s steering his next contract to Tutor?

  13. Roger Christensen
    Dec 11th, 2014 at 14:29
    #13

    Another interesting subject is the impending settlement of the Bakersfield lawsuit.

  14. Paul Dyson
    Dec 11th, 2014 at 15:35
    #14

    Clearly ARTIC has nothing to do with the convenience of the passenger. The average family will continue to drive to Disneyland given none existent Metrolink service after main street parade
    Not to mention the fact that Metrolink can’t even successfully sell tickets on its own trains or provide through trains or even connections across Los Angeles
    ARTIC is a waste of money by any sane measure, the Pringle Mahal, brought to you by the geniuses who thought that the first HS segment should be LAUS to Anaheim

    Phantom Commuter Reply:

    Reminds one of a certain High Speed Rail project …

  15. Paul Dyson
    Dec 11th, 2014 at 16:10
    #15

    And of course driving 4 or more on a car is a fraction of the cost of train travel

    Joe Reply:

    You think driving with kids from NorCal to Disney is easy. I don’t. You can enjoy the trip on a train.

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